What do an unsuccessful dish and a boy who is lost at an intersection of a major city have in common? Both have a problem with a procedure. A procedure in fact is like a recipe that can be applied to solve a problem by defining phases, working timescales, players, resources involved and conduct. A procedure is like a map that helps us not to lose the crossroads of daily activities and information. Now think of the procedures in your organisation and try to remember how you learned them. Most of them are absorbed by direct experience or through discussions with colleagues. In other cases, you use reference documentation, which is often, however, rather complex and difficult to understand, because it essentially lacks intuitiveness and the ability to provide an overview. If that’s how things are, communication and training can be of help to us. The former can make use of 4 simple tips, borrowed from the VIEW method:
Visual – visualise, schematize Iconic – use supporting symbols and images Easy – summarise and simplify Wondrous – diverge, amaze, improve beauty.
Corporate procedures may be represented as a sequence of activities and steps to follow in progression. These operational steps are particularly effective when they are demonstrated with the visual thinking technique. As anticipated, training is the second element useful for easily assimilating procedures. Thanks to this fact, the possibilities of exercises and simulations are multiplied. Nevertheless, a methodological problem could persist: implementing a procedure in full, at once, is not that useful for learning purposes. On the contrary, fragmentation helps us make each activity more understandable and ultimately also aids the full understanding of the meaning from a wider perspective. We associate a definition and description to each step, as well as interactive activities and tests designed to simulate reality in the best possible way to this end, the TRAIN model is very useful:
Talk – ask, discuss Redefine – defined and redefine, reformulate Apply – put into practice Iterate – repeat Normalise – make what you have learned normal practice!
A well-designed communication and multi-media training on process regarding procedures helps us to:
- find our bearings and give an overview of the different steps
- practice using the procedure, by automating its application.
This issue was addressed in posterLab no. 19: “eLearning on company processes and procedures” Paolo Limoncelli